It’s a common belief, especially among Americans, that people who don’t work, deserve to be broke. People on government subsistence programs are especially judged.
Usually American conservatives are judging. They say such people are “lazy drains on society”.
In a sense, they are right. Such people aren’t paying attention to the belief constellations they’re building around themselves, which creates the reality they have.
But there’s another reason too. One the rest of us can do something about.
One reason such programs are necessary is because civilization makes such programs necessary. A civilization is possible where such programs aren’t necessary. Such a civilization could enrich everyone, no matter what they’re doing. And, said enrichment doesn’t have to cost anyone anything.
That last part is important. I’ll revisit that later. In short, our beliefs create our reality. Everything is possible. But not if you don’t believe everything is possible. And a lot of us don’t believe everything is possible. But it is.
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I get to talk with many conservatives. I’ve learned a lot. Their criticism against such ideas as “we can have a civilization where everyone is rich, no matter what they do” feels valid to them. They call such beliefs “unrealistic progressive utopian fantasies”. They call their believers “socialists”, “libtards” or worse. I’ve found there are a couple reasons for this.
One, they worry such ideas could wreck what we currently have. It’s a “don’t break what’s working” mentality. Or, a “move slow so you don’t break what’s working” mindset.
That’s legit. Throwing out what’s working isn’t smart. Don’t quit your day job, right? Especially if you believe a day job is the only way to consistent income. It’s not the only way. But it is the only way if you believe that.
The “unknown unknowns”, as Donald Rumsfeld once called them, that conservatives worry about keep them from entertaining ideas progressives believe are needed. Given unforeseeable negative future consequences, these new ideas aren’t worth considering, they say.
Looking at some alternatives offered, I get that concern. But they’re not all bad.
But there’s a bigger reason conservatives push back against progressive ideas. Whether it’s my idea or Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal, conservatives believe they’re unnecessary. And so not worth paying for. Especially (and this is critical) if they have to do the paying.
So their legit concerns over practical matters spills over into a distorted selfishness. Their caution becomes an argument for keeping things the same. And their wallets full.
It’s not these people’s fault. Their belief constellations say the world’s working for everyone. Those it’s not working for? That’s their fault. Why change it? Meanwhile others say it’s not working. These folks want to change it.
Both are. The world is working for everyone. And, the world can always be improved.
For sure, it’s unfair to say all conservatives feel the world is fine. It IS fair to say though that some progressives believe the world is fine. Particularly rich ones. And some conservatives believe that too.
Beliefs Determine Our Civilization
I know human civilization reflects our collective belief constellations. Our collective belief constellations create what we call society. Which is why I know changing infrastructures and institutions often compounds problems rather than fixing them.
Infrastructure – government, laws, etc., I’ve learned are ideas made manifest. Ideas are beliefs prepared to be shared. I can’t change a physical structure in my personal life and expect real change while ignoring beliefs I have underlying said structure.
For example, if I’m trying to change my financial status through action, I may become monetarily successful. But if my beliefs about finances and money still reflect lack, then it’s likely whatever success and money I have realized will go away. Real change happens at the ideological level, i.e. one’s beliefs.
Our collective mindset is humanity’s biggest impediment. It shapes our civilization, which in turn, reinforces everyone’s opinion. That’s because humans like looking at the world as it is, then form an opinion of what they see. That opinion collects about it similar opinions, becoming a constellation of opinions or beliefs. Eventually that collection of beliefs is reflected into the world they’re looking at.
They could form an opinion first, then watch as civilization shapes to that. That is what visionaries do. It’s what everyone who changes the world does.
Everyone else constrains their opinion to what they see. The more what they see negatively effects their wallet, the more intense their opinion. Their opposition too.
Which is why some conservatives, but not all, express crazy-sounding views about their fellow humans. They are crazy views. Unless you agree with them.
For example, a conservative I was talking with recently compared certain people to drone bees. He said, like drones, people on subsistence programs, or otherwise not “pulling their weight” are worthless drains on productive people. Productive people meaning, like himself:
“Drones, whether bees or other creatures, produce nothing of value. Well, that’s not entirely true – one male bee may get lucky and impregnate the queen of the next new colony. But even that contribution to production is indirect; the male doesn’t produce honey, the females do”.
Distortions fill this opinion/belief. It also shows how such distortions become people’s truths. Even though they’re distortions.
It is inaccurate, for example, to suppose drones “produce nothing of value”. Or even limited value. If that were the case, drones wouldn’t exist.
Drones do exist. Which means they have intrinsic value. Nothing that exists is value-less. If it were, it wouldn’t exist. After all, every thing is All That Is. Would All That Is waste its energy creating something of no value?
Of course not.
People sometimes look to science for understanding. But science is mostly wrong about what it knows. I’m not a science denier. I understand science. Possibly more than most lay people.
Science has some things right. But what it gets right is minuscule compared to total knowledge. It’s also small compared to what it thinks it knows as right. In other words, some things science thinks it knows right aren’t. And a lot of what it could know, that could be helpful, is not interesting to science:
Science has proven this over and over. It’s amazing to me people get angry when I say this, when it’s so obvious.
For example, science at one time “proved” blacks were inferior to whites. It “proved” homosexuals were mentally ill*. It claimed many different species as extinct that aren’t. Finally, science largely does not understand . At least in this case science admits what it doesn’t know.
I’m not saying science is worthless. It has value. It exists :-). But let’s not let it alone dictate opinion. For it is often wrong. More often than it is right.
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Life’s plenty looks wasteful/valueless. So many drone bees. All those seeds a single tree produces with only a few becoming trees. All those leaves falling to the ground each fall. Leaves humans have to rake up.
…But every seed, every tree, every leaf is purposeful and valuable INTRINSICALLY.
Humans are too.
Human Beings Are “Value” Made Material
Here’s what that means, dear reader. Even though you or science may not yet believe it. That human you’re looking at, then claiming has no value, is value in and of itself. It doesn’t “have” value. It “IS” value.
If it wasn’t, the human wouldn’t be.
Which brings us to this post’s headline.
As with drone bees, leaves or any other physical reality, humans you believe are worthless are immense value. You just don’t recognize, understand or want to acknowledge it. That’s ok. You don’t have to.
Your beliefs are your truth. They aren’t The Truth. And, you can change what you believe.
We also can change civilization. So everyone gets what they want, without it costing you anything.
That last part’s worth repeating. That person you think is worthless, whether progressive, conservative, lazy or not, can get everything they want. They can enjoy wealth. Without doing what you think they must to get it.
That can’t happen in today’s society. That’s because it’s based on beliefs that aren’t true. Well they are, but only in our current version of civilization.
Outside that they’re completely and utterly false.
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The only thing slowing down progress is this: people’s persistent belief that this civilization is the only one worth having.
You may think that. But there are far more people who believe different.
And those people are winning. Which is why you see so much churn today. We can have less churn as we progress. But alas, humans love drama.
Progress is going to happen whether you want it to or not. The question is, how will you relate to it? Will you go kicking and screaming, reviling your fellow human along the way?
Or are you going to enjoy the process? Maybe even get positively focused?
Your beliefs shape your response. Another question: do you realize that?
And if you do, what are you going to do about it?